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Kirkuk

Administration
Full nameKirkuk
Official nameKirkuk
Native nameكركوك
Other nameKerkûk / که‌رکووک
CountryIraq
GovernorateKirkuk
Demography
Total Population850 787 (2009 Est.)
Other information
Time zoneGMT +3 (UTC)
- Summer (DST)GMT +4 (UTC)

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Kirkuk (also spelled Karkuk or Kerkuk, , Kurdish: Kerkûk/که‌رکووک, , ) is a city in Iraq and the capital of Kirkuk Governorate.

It is located in the Iraqi governorate of Kirkuk, 236 kilometres (146 miles) north of the capital, Baghdad. Kirkuk city lies 83 km south of Arbil, 149 km southeast of Mosul, 97 km west of Sulaymaniyah, and 116 km northeast Tikrit

It stands on the site of the ancient Assyrian capital of Arrapha,

which sits near the Khasa River on the ruins of a 5,000-year-old settlement (Kirkuk Citadel). Arrapha reached great importance under the Assyrians in the 10th and 11th centuries BC. Because of the strategic geographical location of the city, Kirkuk was the battle ground for three empires-the Neo Assyrian Empire, Babylonia, and Media-which controlled the city at various times.

Historically, the city has always been considered by Kurds and Turkmens as a cultural capital. It was named the "capital of Iraqi culture" by the ministry of culture in 2010.

The city currently consists of Arabs, Armenians, Assyrians, Iraqi Turkmens and Kurds. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, the Kurdish population in the city is estimated to have increased from 150,000 to 350,000.


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